You are never too small to make a difference.
That's what a hummingbird seems to tell us. The historic poster for peace with the dove carrying a letter "A" to change the word "WAR" into "PEACE" created by Armando Milani and adopted by the UN is one of the most iconic designs in the world. A simple solution that communicates a complicated concept with such immediacy that it creates a system. In 2015, after Donald Trump's election in the US, the dove transformed into a Hawk which brought the letter "A" back towards the word "WAR".
This new collaboration between Armando Milani and BOB Liuzzo creates a visual system that becomes a triptych opening the doors to a contemporary problem that is no longer the dualism between war and peace, but between Speaking and Acting for the survival of our planet and its climate system. "Speak / React" replace the larger words "War / Peace".
The climate emergency combined with the health emergency have made us aware of the existence of a condition called "infodemic": When too many voices speak, valuable time is taken away from action by generating confusion. Climate change is no longer a topic to be discussed but a crisis to be faced and solved with real and targeted interventions. Inspired by the well-known “blah, blah, blah” by Greta Thunberg, the third poster of this series by Armando Milani was born.
Why the Hummingbird?
Peace and War are two complex topics but easier to understand than the climate change we are facing right now. It does not only foresee good or bad, winners or losers but has its roots in the large-scale actions of Global Industries and in our small daily attitudes and choices ranging from domestic consumption to conscious choices at the supermarket. In this topic we all win or lose together. The dove and the eagle are two immediate symbols that speak of war and peace, but sustainability and resilience do not yet have a symbolic equivalent so clear that, at the mere sight, they can evoke a strong and unique message.
After substantial collaborative research, Milani and Liuzzo found, found the perfect ambassador in the hummingbird to send out a message of reaction. It is the smallest bird in the world with 357 different species that populate the planet from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. The Hummingbird is an adaptable and varied animal just like the human being.
The extraordinary mobility of its wings allows it to allows it to accomplish feats unimaginable for other birds, such as flying backwards, which humans must be willing to do in the fight against climate change. Furthermore, in case of a food shortage or during sleep, some species can fall into a stupor which allows them to conserve energy, drastically slowing down their very rapid metabolism. This seemed like an excellent metaphor for the new society we are called to build which must limit consumption and resources to survive. The hummingbird feeds on the nectar of the flowers that represent not only the plant but its desire to carry on the species and build a better world for those who will come later.